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Obituary: Brigadier John Wright CBE

Brigadier John Wright CBE, a former Pony Club Polo Chairman, died peacefully on 4th May from cancer aged 75. 

He was commissioned into the Royal Tank Regiment in 1960 but his love of horses persuaded him to transfer in 1970 to the 16th/5th Queen’s Royal Lancers, a regiment which he rose to command.  He was one of the key staff officers involved in the recapture of the Falkland Islands and was awarded the CBE. 

As the father of three children he introduced them to the Pony Club at an early age and became polo manager of the Royal Artillery Branch.  Under his enthusiastic leadership his Branch fielded more teams than any other in the Pony Club Polo Championships.  In 1990 he succeeded Buff Crisp as Chairman of Pony Club Polo.

His major contribution as Chairman was to connect Pony Club Polo with the junior organisations of other polo playing countries.  In 1992 he took eight Pony Club members to an international junior tournament held in Argentina.  His selection must have been good as four of them have since represented England at the top senior level.  Young players from abroad were subsequently invited to play in Pony Club sponsored matches in England.

In 1995 he retired from the army and became polo manager of Tidworth Polo Club.
With justification, he claimed that Tidworth provided low goal polo at its best and it became the club with most playing members in Britain.  He found that his work there did not permit him enough time for his duties at the Pony Club and he handed over the chairmanship in 1997..

His success in the Pony Club and at Tidworth led to his being appointed chairman of the Hurlingham Polo Association, the governing body of the sport in the United Kingdom, in 2013, a post which he sadly had to resign when his cancer was diagnosed.

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